Sunday, December 10, 2006
Space shuttle mission STS-116 began today with its successful launch at 8:48pm EST (01:47 GMT). Liftoff was uneventful with no immediate problems. Last Thursday’s launch attempt was scrubbed due to low, dense cloud cover. It is the first Space Shuttle night launch in over four years and the last mission planned for pad 39b.
In the complex mission Discovery will first dock with the International Space Station. In three spacewalks the astronauts will install a segment of the station’s integrated truss and replace the orbital laboratory’s power wiring system.